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  • District Mission, Vision, & Shared Values ........2

    Dates to Remember ..................................................3

    Building Directory .....................................................4

    District Map .................................................................5

    General Information .................................................6

    Student Services ..................................................... 12

    Attendance & Absences ....................................... 15

    Guidance ..................................................................... 17

    Health Services ........................................................ 17

    Special Education .................................................... 19

    Standardized Testing .............................................20

    Community Involvement ........................................21

    Board Policy Summaries .......................................22

    Index ............................................................................52

    Cover photo courtesy of Melissa Shingler at M. Shingler Photography, www.mshinglerphotography.com

  • superintendent’s message Day one of this shiny bright school year is the beginning of what I hope to be a new and exciting chapter of achievement for the West Shore School District. We are recalibrating our approach to make sure the school year will be an invigorating one for our students, staff, and community. Part of that recalibration involves some changes. One of my first jobs as your home-grown superintendent was to recommend to the school board a few key people for new assignments. I believe this reorganization will greatly strengthen our team.

    Also high on my list of responsibilities is to make sure everyone with a stake in the District gets a steady diet of information about what we are doing to make West Shore the best it can be. Many good things are happening daily. You have a tremendously dedicated staff working for you. Everybody who knows anything about Central Pennsylvania talks about the work ethic of the people who live and work here. No group of employees epitomize that more than the over 1,000 individuals who do their best every day to make sure all aspects of the District’s responsibilities are carried out seamlessly.

    It is easy in the press of everyday to sometimes lose track of the big picture. As many of you know—some of you played key roles in developing it — in 2006 the Board of School Directors adopted a six-year strategic plan for the District. There are seven different goals in the plan, ranging from technology integration to community involvement. One of my responsibilities is to make sure we are on track to accomplish these goals within the stated time frame. To this end, some specific areas of focus for the 2008-2009 school year are:

    • establish a new emphasis on communications throughout the district • continue our work on the district-wide facility plan which includes renovations, additions, new

    construction, and maintenance throughout the District • expand our Kindergarten Acceleration Program (KAP) serving selected students from all the

    elementary schools in need of enhanced literacy and numeracy skills to two additional sites, Fishing Creek and Lower Allen Elementary Schools

    • seek to sustain and improve student achievement through the continued comprehensive implementation of the Learning-Focused Schools model.

    The calendar/handbook you are holding highlights key school and District activities. It also contains information that you may find helpful throughout the school year including District policies and procedures. I urge you to read the material carefully and discuss key areas of interest with your children. I also encourage you to become actively involved in our school community. We offer extensive opportunities for individuals who are looking to volunteer and work with our students. As you know, education doesn’t begin or end at the schoolhouse door. Your involvement is every bit as crucial.

    Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions or concerns throughout the year. Working together we can achieve extraordinary things. Have a great year!

    Jemry Small, Superintendent of Schools

  • 2 2008-2009 Handbook & Calendar

    district mission, vision, & shared values

    Shared Values Members of the West Shore School District community share the following values:

    Student Learning • We believe all children can learn.

    • We believe students must become more responsible for their own learning as each year progresses.

    • We believe students must develop the skills to successfully adapt to our changing world.

    • We believe learning must occur in an emotionally, physically, and academically safe and supportive environment.

    Professional Practice • We believe well-trained and motivated educators are

    key to effective instruction.

    • We believe our schools must continually improve to exceed standard expectations.

    • We believe our schools must continually evaluate/ reevaluate their efforts to ensure individual student needs are being met.

    • We believe we must cultivate relationships that foster a welcoming and invitational school climate.

    Relationships Among Members • We believe quality education requires the total

    involvement of students, parents, educators, and the community, with a positive teacher/student relationship as a key to empowering each student to realize his/her academic potential.

    • We believe education is a lifelong journey which begins in the home and continues through school and beyond.

    • We believe the collaboration of ideas and talents leads to and promotes personal and community growth.

    • We believe resources must be provided and managed in a fiscally responsible manner.

    Vision The vision of the West Shore

    School District is to cultivate an invitational school climate that welcomes the involvement of

    students, parents, educators, and the community.

    Working cooperatively, the school community will nurture lifelong learners to become responsible

    and successful citizens.

    The District embraces a dynamic approach to teaching and learning that fosters continual growth and

    development.

    Mission The West Shore School District is committed to

    providing all students with a quality education to prepare them to be responsible and

    successful citizens.

  • www.wssd.k12.pa.us 3

    dates to remember

    Important Dates

    School Year Begins for Students ............................................................. August 27, 2008 Graduation - Red Land *............................................................................... June 9, 2009 Graduation - Cedar Cliff * / School Year Ends for Students ....................... June 10, 2009 Work Year Ends for Teachers ...................................................................... June 11, 2009

    * Graduation dates are tentative and, if additional make up days are needed, will be rescheduled at the March 2009 Board meeting.

    School Not in Session on the Following Days

    Year II Teacher Orientation Days ................................................. August 18 and 19, 2008 New Hire Teacher Orientation Days* .................................... August 20, 21, and 22, 2008 Staff Development Exchange Day ........................................................... August 25, 2008 Staff Development .................................................................................. August 26, 2008 Labor Day Holiday ...............................................................................September 1, 2008 Early Dismissal ** ...................................................................................October 10, 2008 Staff Development (Contract Exchange Day) .........................................October 13, 2008 Staff Development ..................................................................................October 31, 2008 Act 80 Day / Parent Conferences / Staff Development ......................November 10, 2008 Parent Conferences / Staff Development ........................................... November 11, 2008 Parent Conferences for Kindergarten Only ......................................November 12, 2008 Thanksgiving Recess ........................................ November 27, 2008 - December 1, 2008 Early Dismissal ** ...............................................................................December 12, 2008 Holiday Recess......................................................December 24, 2008 - January 2, 2009 MLK Holiday / Staff Dev. / Act 80 Day (Contract Exchange Day) ..........January 19, 2009 Staff Development / Act 80 Day ..............................................................January 20, 2009 Winter Break ......................................................................................... February 13, 2009 Presidents’ Day ................................................................................... February 16, 2009 Early Dismissal ** ................................................................................. February 27, 2009 Break .........................................................................................................March 13, 2009 Spring Recess ................................................................................... April 9 and 10, 2009 Parent Conferences / Staff Develop

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